NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Advanced Micro Devices on Monday is expected to announce the availability of personal computer systems that are powered by its fastest yet microprocessor, the AMD Athlon operating at 1.1 gigahertz.|
So far, 10 computer manufacturers, including Compaq (CPQ: Research, Estimates), Gateway (GTW: Research, Estimates), Hewlett-Packard (HWP: Research, Estimates), IBM (IBM: Research, Estimates) and Fujitsu Siemens Computers, plan to offer systems with the new chips, which AMD said are currently shipping in volume.
The 1.1 GHz Athlons, which the company introduced last week, are priced at $853 each when purchased in quantities of 1,000. That compares with $612 for its 1 GHz Athlons.
The company said the 1.1 GHz chips outperform their predecessors by 10 percent.
AMD's Athlon and Duron chips represent the company's seventh generation of microprocessors. And their popularity over the past year has made the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based outfit a more serious competitor to Intel, its much larger, deep-pocketed rival.
Intel's Pentium III line currently tops out at 1.13 GHz, slightly above AMD's latest offering. However, systems that contain those new chips, which carry a price tag of $990 and began shipping in late July, currently are few and far between.
"That's the very high end of the range," said Intel spokesman Michael Sullivan. "Right now that product is going on the consumer side to the enthusiasts and on the business side to the power users."
AMD is hoping to outship the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip giant when it comes to high-end microprocessors.
Compaq said it will use the 1.1 GHz Athlon in its Presario 7000 line, aimed at home users who want high performance for applications such as multimedia, digital video editing and power gaming. Fujitsu Siemens is offering the new chips in its "xpert" line.
"AMD's superior product architectures and outstanding execution enables us to supply the highest performing processors in volume," said AMD spokesman Scott Carroll.
During the second quarter, the Athlon and Duron sold a combined 1.8 million units, a 52 percent increase from the first quarter. And the company expects that kind of growth to continue throughout the second half of the year, which is typically the chip industry's strongest.
"We believe we're on track to double shipments again of seventh-generation processors from 1.8 million to 3.6 million in the third quarter, and to see that number double again in the fourth quarter," Carroll said.
For its part, Intel in the fourth quarter will begin shipping the next generation on its Pentium processors, the Pentium 4, which will be available at speeds of 1.4 GHz and higher.
The new Pentiums, which the company unveiled last week, will be built around a new architecture called "NetBurst," are designed to handle applications that have become popular because of the Internet, such as imaging, streaming video, speech recognition and multimedia.
AMD (AMD: Research, Estimates) shares ended Friday's session down 0.44 at 34.50. Intel (INTC: Research, Estimates) finished 1.31 lower at 72.94.